November 2006
November 30, 2006

This month I:

1. Posted every day - thank you NaBloPoMo. It forced me to do so and most times I put in good effort. There were times it was too much and you got this. But writing everyday is not a bad thing, like my morning stretches or dental floss. Good for your body.

2. Billed 237.7 hours. Good god I don't know how I did both. But I had to. It does explain the bags and zits.

3. Ate like poop. Pizza four times, two thanksgiving dinners, steak, key lime pie, pumpkin tart, chocolate peanut butter tartletts and nachos. All thrown in there.

4. Went to three yoga classes.

5. Lost 1 pound. Again, no clue, especially after #3.

6. Added red dye to my hair.

7. Went to the dentist (blech) and dermatologist (love, love, love her).

8. Gained a roommate. While December 1 is technically the last day of his lease. He has been here consistently, clothes, books and all since November 11.

9. Spent four days with my sister. Thank you Turkey Day.

10. Voted. Including one Republican. Yep, the dark side won out.

11. Received a rejection for a submission to a magazine.

12. Handed in three submissions for my writing class.

13. Drove to New Port Richey twice and Sarasota twice. I hate driving.

14. Watched my mom in action at the Jewish Book Fair.

15. Ate Thai with a new friend.

What I did not do:

1. Find myself on the randomizer. Never once, goddammit.


For Love of Our Senses
November 29, 2006

The Smell of: the next day remnants of Angel perfume, morning air before sunrise – pre-humidity, grapefruit Khiels lotion, a leather jacket, freshly baked bread, Evergreen pine trees, Design, my dad leaving his car fresh with air and leather, Bumble and Bumble shampoo, brewing coffee, crisp ocean air, Jo Malone candles, Tide, bouquet of flowers, whiskey, Yogani Studio’s bamboo floors, chocolate, Old Spice deodorant, our bodies next to each other.

The Taste of: pomegranate black tea, thin slice NY style hot pizza, toasted bagel with gobs of cream cheese, Asian pan fried duck, vinegar, uber-hard Granny Smith apples, delicately soft chocolate chip cookies, crushed ice over fountain served diet coke, pad Thai noodles, undercooked brown rice, margaritas, warm goat cheese, sweet tart candies, freshly brushed teeth, Mexican rolls, crisp bacon, a tall glass of water, steak with gorgonzola cheese sauce, cleanly shaved legs, Ciccios and Tony;s Asian guacamole, ice cold dirty vodka martinis, your sweet kisses.

The Sound of: mom’s answer of, “hi sweetie”, Ray Lamontagne’s sultry tunes, the Monday Night Football theme song, silence, church bells, the bing of a text message, Indigo Girls, a train horn in the distant, Ginger’s belly grunts, a live samba band, Magoo’s “I love you’s”, a car returning home, confidence, our voices shared together.

The Touch of: Magoo’s arms wrapped around my neck, a cool pillow, a soft light cotton tee to sleep in, forehead kisses, my hair being washed, a cool soft breeze to relieve the heat, sand between my toes and fingers, a well told story, hot showers, my baby sister’s thick brown locks, a blanket while being curled up on the couch, Curel lotion after a shower, the esthetician cleaning my the pores, back scratches, warm feet placed in wool socks, a quick dip in a refreshing pool, my heart next to yours.

The Sight of: patent leather, green mountains of Vermont, Christmas trees, wreaths and lights, perfectly painted jewel like toe nails, complimentary job praises, fireworks on July 4th, new catalogs in the mailbox, a new bride, stationary, long eye lashes, patriotism, bold bright sunsets, daddies and their little girls, Ginger’s scrunched up head and perky ears, fresh flowers in a vase, monogramming, Sunday Times wedding section, a pregnant mommies belly, Publix Holiday commercials, my hand in yours.

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Karmic Law
November 28, 2006

This was today's Aires horoscope:

Karma works on its own unpredictable schedule, so if you're wondering when you'll be paid back for all the points you've been racking up, you're wasting your time. Just like a watched pot never boils, a watched karma account never pays off. You have to stop looking for payback. Getting benefits from good behavior is merely icing on the cake. Get back to doing the right things for the right reasons.

Since yesterday I have been wrestling with what is right. And by whose standards are we to judge. Further, how far can we go to defend that rightness and whose rules do we play by. The most recent dilemma has been whether to call out others who may not be doing right. By their definition they are fine, but by mine, not so much. Further, they are hurting others. The issue is; am I calling them out just to be a tattle-tale and to say, "hey I am in the right"? Or am I doing it simply because they are wrong. Here the 'scope says keep on fighting the good fight. Just do right for the right reasons, eventually karma will win out. To me that means, they will get their just rewards, or punishment, as the case may be. I will also be rewarded for staying the course. Most likely not telling. The universe will work it out for me. Hopefully it will be score one for the good guy (at least I would like to think I am). I guess I have a little earth mother hippy somewhere inside my suited-heeled body.

We are trained to defend and primarly to win. We take an oath to zealously represent. Harsh, no? Zealous? Really? I scrunch my nose up some thinking about it. Aren't zealots looked down upon, for their rash behavior? I have such a negative connotation with that word. Why am I do take such extreme measures for my clients interests? And really how far is that to take us? Is it when we are comfortable or is it where our opponents are? I am so unclear on this zealous business. I know there is no correct answer. That is until the Bar Ethics committee gets involved. But before that, well before that, thankfully, there is a lot of questioning. This is why I struggled so much with our professionalism classes and that damned exam. It's not that I am unethical, at times I think the opposite is true, I am too ethical. I see black and white. But these problems lie in the grey, as most of life does. Morality is relative. It always will be. For me this is too difficult to grasp and I fail standardized exams. I also fail when trying to relate to others. In college I took an Intro to Accounting Class at the Business School with Beau Parent. Love that name, South Louisiana goodness. He was an institution at the school and taught the same class semester after semester. Notes, tests and the final accounting project were stored in boxes at Greek Houses. We all add access to them. Was it right to re-use such material? Can we justify it by saying, he had to know. Or that we were using resources available to us, to stay competitive in the market. Nope it's all cheating. Just because 90% of the class used them, does not make it acceptable. But then did you have to do it also, to make sure you got an A? Or was it worth the effort to take the time to re-create the project on your own without the assurance of a good grade? I did it. We used an old project. It was easy.

Today it is the same thing. Is it easier to join them than to beat them? If they are using their resources to zealously represent, should I also? Even if those resources are cheating the system? If their moral compass allows for such behaviors, but mine doesn't, am I at a disadvantage? How can I be a zealot then? Huh Bar Exam, answer me that? Do I fail because I am left behind tootling along while they speed forward using not-so-nice tactics? That is where I come back to my karmic horoscope. I have to think the world evens things out. I work hard, get what I need done, I succeed and they get their due too. Maybe my A in accounting was why I got a C in Professional Responsibility, three years later, in law school. The universe said, "hey you are not so ethical after all and here is proof." Karma hard at work, keeping track.


Caution She Will Bite
November 27, 2006

I had a whole post planned on cheating. Not that kind of cheating, a different breed of ugly. It will wait until tomorrow or even next week. There is no energy for thought or writing, given that all I can muster in response to e-mails today was:

blah. i worked. blah. i am working now. blah. it is going to rain. blah. my belly hurts. blah.

Not to be out done by:


See how far this post was going to get me....

I have a to-do list for the remainder of the day that looks something like this:

- type deposition summary
- walk and feed the animal
- pick up laundry
- have 13 quarterly reports completed by morning. I got clarification as to what morning was and found out it extends to 2 p.m. However, a trip to Sarasota is planned with a departure time of noon. So we are back at morning for those babies.
- read literature and draft appropriate submission for writing class
- draft motion to continue
- edit documents
- wash, rinse, repeat all again tomorrow


Uh-Oh It's J-Lo
November 26, 2006

There is no human explanation for this phenomenon. I consider myself well educated and moderately sensible. I find Magoo's adult cartoons annoying. But when it comes to J-Lo movies I am helpless. I have now watched The Wedding Planner twice this weekend. (did you catch that Alex from Grey's Anatomy, was the suitor?). He knew, down the hall, that I was watching J-Lo. It is hopeless. The cheesiness and bad acting are addictive. I spent last New Years with my sister, Thai food and Monster in Law. We loved it. She knows how to put together slop and I will eat it up. I think it is just the ridiculousness of the stories. Always, always a sappy happy ending. Crazy romantic scenes that are wildly impossible. It is so far from real that we can only imagine it. Just like her life is so far from real. Almost movie like, Ben to Marc in seconds. The two displayed together are what makes good entertainment. Crappy goodness complete with a picturesque "The End" in just the right font. The way we want our lives and stories to end, in script, with a passionate kiss.

The whole thing is so absurd. That is so not any one's life. Who gets rescued? Literally from a truck about to strike. Is there really love at first sight? To the point you leave your spouse for another person you barely know? It is all over the top. Well that's Hollywood and it is supposed to be. But then you wonder, after the credits and the kiss ends, what do they do? Who gets the dry cleaning and makes dinner? How did they ever discuss if they want kids or their finances? In those scenes with horseback riding and drive in movie theaters who had time to assess how the person would want to decorate their house, whether they snore, if they leave hair in the sink, what kind of mate, father and husband they will be. Then you wonder, how much of that is really important and relevant to sustaining a relationship. Is it just the kizmit and fate plus the attraction? Or is it because we are overly analytical and judgmental that we need more time and effort to make something work? Does it help or hurt? Do we actually end up ruining and sabotaging something because we scoff at romance and J-Lo. We need to talk, discuss and explore. She and are characters act freely wielding romance with handbags and perfect hair. They just do. Maybe it could work......Is it fantasy or should it be our reality? Of course this may be too much for The Wedding Planner. But you do wonder what the allure of the movies are (or maybe I am the only one watching), since they play into a dream and a desire. Perhaps it is a real possibility.

Clearly none of that is dug into and we certainly don't get to see it. Not just that we don't see the time spent getting to know each other, but what happens when the romance wears thin. We think that it couldn't work. Isn't that why The Bachelor never worked? They left the fake reality TV and entered real reality. Arguments about dry cleaning won out over good looks. I critique, but I would never watch that movie either. That is my life, why do I need to see it ironed out in detailed arguments. Albeit with pretty people and good lighting. I don't watch horror movies for a reason, it is just too much. To me that may be a horror movie of sorts. So who would want to pay money to see that? It is much more entertaining to be drawn into fairy tales and never-ever I do's. We get to see how we would possibly act in the extreme, with no barriers and perfect makeup. That is why J-Lo is fun. I think that is also why the cartoons bother me. There is nothing fantastical about them, at least not in the fairy tale fantasy way. I get the entertainment and humor, but it is just not my cup of J-Lo.


Madison Avenue Pilgrims
November 25, 2006

I am a sucker for good advertising. Those people on Madison Avenue are quite aware of this allure and do it on purpose. For people like me. Every holiday season Publix puts out these touching, cute, and funny commercials to promote their supermarket and send well wishes to the community. They generally feature these salt/pepper shakers as animated characters, amongst a family setting. It is sweet. On Tuesday I saw them at the store. I was poked fun of for falling for the marketing gimmick. But c'mon they are cute. If you saw the commercial you would agree. I am generally good about not acting on these marketing game impulses. This time of year is baaaad though. Each night I walk from my car and get the mail from the box at the end of the drive. These days it is packed with catalogs. Places I have never heard of. But who cares? Glossy covers, pretty pics and lots of fun things to purchase. Generally I am an advertisers worst nightmare though, I love the pictures and the cute, but the buck stops there. I flip, point, fold down pages and plan. But never follow through. It is the advertising of it and the product placement.Putting it in front of me is an excellent technique. Again marketing genius. Especially for donations, this week I have donated to St. Jude's at the shoe store and the Greyhound Rescue at the pet store. Ask me when I am paying, with my hand on the cash, and I am yours. Place those magazines in my mail and I will look through every catalog. It is relaxing and lets me "shop" without leaving my comfy couch. I can multi-task, catch up on TV and flip. Perhaps one day with more expendable cash, the turned down pages will be accessed with the Visa. For now, I plan on the salt and pepper shakers for Turkey Day '07. No comments. I also need to find accetable presents for office assistants and the hair dresser. I will keep my eye out, as long as the catalogs keep coming.


Black Friday, Black Tea, Black Patent
November 24, 2006

We sent mom off for a relaxation massage and she threw in a manicure. It was an extra birthday effort, a ladies day over the Holiday weekend. To make up for the failed effort in October. The cashmere was too small, she paid for the new one. The flowers were delivered and returned, re-delivered without the vase. The cake. Not sufficient for 60, not sufficient for mom. Today was spa time, shopping time, followed by tea.

In an older tradition we brave the black. It is not just that, it is not that bad. We are used to Miami malls. Where everyday is rude. It does not matter if it is black, red, green or blue. People push, elbow and jack parking spots. That's on a Wednesday morning. Central Florida is nothing, if not just good deals. In just over an hour, and just under $200, we bargained. Black patent pumps included. Words are not sufficient to describe my passion for patent; black, red, green or blue.

Tea time. In the late Autumn, we got a final taste of fall; raspberry tea, cranberry scones and flower cut cucumber sandwiches. There were chandeliers, table linens, bone china, flowered prints on napkins, plates and tea cups. All adorable and tasty. Perfectly dainty and lady like.

Now its time to walk it all off. Before turkey dinner part deux.


Turkey Tales
November 23, 2006

Never go to the grocery store the day, or two, before Thanksgiving. You are asking for it. At least not without the proper equipment and preparations. Maybe weapons and makeup. There are camera crews there. People push. They steal. Even elderly innocent looking old men. You will be helplessly picking out peppers for fajita night. Good god I love fajitas. You turn back to place your produce in your cart only to see a man in a blue jacket and cap walk by slowly. He picks up your cart along the way and just keeps pushing it. One quick movement, no pauses. Does not look back. He continues toward the juices. What the???? Where were the camera crews when you needed them? Your wonderful boyfriend sees your dismay, as you raise your hands and peppers into the air in a quizzical fashion. You say rather loudly, "that man stole my cart". A few heads turn, sort of laugh uncomfortably, but not the capped man. Boyfriend moves over to the juices, while the man is deciding between Tropicana and Minute Maid, and he swipes the cart right back. Boyfriend then rightfully brings your cart over to deposit the peppers and onion. Seconds later you look up and see the blue jacketed man performing the same move on another poor unsuspecting produce shopper. Pushing along innocently. Your boyfriend states he is going to look for chicken. With those parting words you send him off and warn, "hold onto that cart with your life".


One Word/Sixty Seconds
November 22, 2006

Credit where it is due: One Word


to hell in a hand basket. I just love that expression. it generally captures the days mood, when s*it goes down. i pictue a pig tailed girl-y holding a hansel and gretel type basket. i guess the imagery of the wolf leads me to the hell-ish idea. yet it is never, never that good and there is no happy ending.


New Orleans for New Years
November 21, 2006

I sit here listening to WWOZ in a sweater, slacks and boots. Maybe it is the coolness in the air or the fast approaching holiday - but I am thinking incessantly about our trip to New Orleans. We are there for New Years. Four days back since the Hurricane. Magoo has never been, so I get to take him on a tour of my favorites. I am jumping out of my skin excited to show him everything and let him see it all for the first time. It will be that much more fun to see his reaction. He also finally gets to place a picture to all my rambling stories. So it needs to be four days of jam-packed activity. He needs to see it all and so do I. Post-hurricane and all.

Here are my thoughts and a beginning itinerary:

1. We are going to see Dr. John at the House of Blues on Friday night, December 29. Live NOLA music on Decatour. Perfection.

2. We want to do a prix-fixe dinner on Sunday night for New Years. I need help finding menus so I can make a reservation. We want a late seating, we want to gorge ourselves, and we want to roll out of there around midnight. Depending - maybe watch the Gumbo Pot drop in Jackson Square or call it a night. I am even thinking about Harrah's.....let's see how much dinner is though.

3. Um hello, shopping on Magazine Street. I need more New Orleans memorabilia. That is a given - I want to go to these places, for good shopping; here to poke around; here for cool stationary and tees for gifts; and here because I love the smell in there. Of course CC's for a coffee. Mmmmmm I can feel the warmth. That place has the best vibe for a coffee shop.

4. An uptown tour - Tulane, Audubon Park (god I hope they have those adorable elephant lights), the Fly, my old apartments, Maple Street, my most fav Whole Foods. Some can be done via car with me oooh and ahhing, pointing out objects and rattling off stories.

5. Later, I want to do an uptown drinks tour too - The Columns (how darling will it look all Christmas-tized), the uptown houses with lights, including St. Charles at night, Dos Jefes and St. Joes.

6. We need to split a burger at Port 'O Call and a fruity big ass drink.

7. Hit Frenchman street - definitely D/B/A's, but also the Apple Barrel and the other smaller bars, Snug Harbor depending on the musician and time.

8. Spend an hour at Pat O's, both outside by the fountains and inside at the Piano Bar

9. If there is time - walking tour, during the day, of the Royal Street art galleries, the French Market and a brake for beignets at Cafe du Monde.

10. Somewhere, somehow I will squeeze in a po boy and a Dixie beer. Magoo is not a fan of mayo and a proper Po Boy has to have tons of it gobed together with hot sauce and fried something.

Can we do it all? Damn skippy! I am so flipping excited - that I have a 10 pronged to-do list set up five weeks before we go.

Anyone know whether some of these sites no longer exist or if there are better improved places to go post-Hurricane?

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Single Girls
November 20, 2006

I think I figured it out. Something that has been itching at me. It hit me in between Lexis searches on a random afternoon. I was never, never the girl with the boyfriend. I went years without one. Who knows the reason for it. Did I not put in the effort? Was I too independent? Did I lack confidence? Was I unapproachable? No matter, it is done. Long ago history. But it stuck to me, as teenaged issues always do. I was always the girl having to search for a date to the dances. I never had a Valentine or a New Years' kiss. We already covered the absence of flowers. So I grew accustomed to it. That was me and that was how my life was. My girlfriends were my boyfriends. We went out to dinners on holidays, they bought me presents on my birthdays, my parents and sister filled in with the love and affection. I was great at phone calls, crappy TV, shopping trips and coffee shop chatter. I knew how to occupy time on Saturday nights. I always found friends in the same boat. I ate at bars alone and sat through movies by myself. Not only was it a custom, but it was easy. Comfortable. It is who you become. I never thought about it any other way. Going to the grocery when you want, just to buy Cheetos, heading to the gym at all hours, watching every episode of Sex and the City ten times, leaving your bra on the couch for days. All the joys of singledom. You listen to break up stories, wedding proposals and first date horrors. As a bystander reading a great novel or enjoying a Hallmark movie. But it is not really your life, it never was. In a way you determine it was never supposed to be. You never even entertain the possibility that it could be yours. Scratching that surface will lead to an explosion that is too much to contain. So don't bother. Just snuggle up in your flannel PJ's and continue to flip through In Style.

But then suddenly you are in the relationship. There are dates, kisses, hand holding and introductions. He is there. He is a we. You are a we. Time passes. There isn't even a chance to recognize you are no longer living in singledom. This is a relationship. You have a boyfriend. A what? Even saying it out loud is freaky and bizarre. Like someone else has taken over your mouth and pushed Greek out of it. He made it past a few dates. He is real and not there for tetherball; no game playing here. This is a grown up relationship and we are playing with big people here. I think about Alli living in L.A. and how we chat about hair and shoes. Theirs not ours. I smile and think of the commonalities of the two strangers. How a long term friend who is geographically apart ended up in similar place at the same time. Who would have thought that it would be us? Out of everyone? Then it really strikes. This must be why this has been so hard to wrap my arms around and accept this whole big thing. I am a single. At least for a very long time I was. Really single. So how did I end up here? How was it me that ended up here? How is this my reality? What about all the other girls with the stories and the drama. The ones with the checkered dating past? They played the game for years. So how did I end up the winner?


Sleepy Sunday
November 19, 2006

I am: a woman, a lawyer, an Aries, a daughter, a sister, an overly analytical person, a poor tennis player, a 36C, a girlfriend, good with directions, tired, always five minutes late, a good friend, stubborn, a big fan of coffee, a Jew, able to understand some Spanish, a beagle owner, obsessed with food, a dirty martini drinker, terrified of the dentist, a Tulane alum, a Bucs fan, a blogger.

I want: a digital camera, health for my family, to lose 10 lbs, to travel to Greece, to be a mother, to have a full sized kitchen, a cup of hot cider, to be a better chef, to save money, a trip to the beach, good girlfriends, a beautiful day off, a warm comforter, a tan, the Hurricanes to start winning again.

I hate: standing in line, incompetence, traffic jams, my upstairs neighbors, feeling incompetent, paying my bills, eating seafood, horror movies, gin, jello, my irritable stomach, the sound of a drill.

I love: my baby sister, my beagle, my man, my parents, my friend, my good health, my safety, my status as a US citizen, my education, my heritage, my wealth.

I miss: being 17, living near Audubon Park, being a student, my sister, old episodes of 90210, Allison, Pam, Beth and all my friends who are not here, my apartment at 435 State Street, fitting into my Seven Jeans, skipping class at the Fly, going to the dog park, being a carefree Palmetto High student, summer vacation, three-for-one happy hours at the Boot, drive thru daiquiris, our backyard.

I fear: poor health, getting in a car accident, Magoo leaving me, root canals, losing my family, losing my job, having to call a plumber, ac repairman or Triple A, getting fat, I may not make my quarterly bonus, I will be alone, I will be found out.

I hear: the Dallas Cowboys game in the background, the sound of the washing machine, the pots and pans of dinner preparations, Ginger snoring.

I sing: poorly, in my car, to myself, out loud.

I dance: like a crazy person, with my hips, at weddings, in the nude, in a former life with tap shoes.

I cry: at commercials, when I am upset, when I am scared, upon seeing pictures of New Orleans, when my feelings are hurt, when I feel insulted, what I am frustrated, at a touching scene, all the time, during some movies.

I am not always: truthful, on time, awake, alert, kind, easy to get along with, understanding.

I start: with the letter A, with Tropicana OJ every morning, my car with the foot on the brake, my shower before I get in.

I finish: this meme.


Moving Forward
November 18, 2006

Today involves a van, a dolly, heavy lifting and probably some arguments. Friends and co-workers. There are couches, washing machines, beds and a dinner at the Palm. It will all be good. Very good.


Day 17: Ginger the Guest Blogger
November 17, 2006


As you know I have abundant amounts of spare time on my paws, so I thought I would take the time to help you blog. You seem quite busy these days, I just wanna help out. I know, I know, everyday you leave me a to-do list, but I am lazy and easily distracted. Plus the washer is broken so I can't do the laundry. So if there is space on the couch for me to scrunch my little body onto, then so be it. That is where I have to be. Chores, smores. Mmmmm smores. Yummy. You think I can't have chocolate, but I could go for a smores. Marshmallow-y goodness. Last week I ate a whole Snickers bar and I am here to write about. So what of your theory about chocolate being the death of me? ......see what I am saying about getting distracted. Anyways, back to my other favorite habit, aside from dumpster diving, sleeping. Napping. Snoozing. You name it, I do it. I know you leave those damned pillows to keep me off. But I am a regal beagle so I swiftly push them out of my way. I need the time to sleep comfortably and not have it be taken up by tasks on your list. Today is an exception, I wanted to lend my four paws to your blogging effort. Yes, its a dog life. But someone has to live it. And that someone is me.

As I was saying, this letter is to address my side of the story. First, please just accept and move on, but I cannot help peeing in the house. It is beyond my control. I become inconsolably sad and anxious. Isn't it better then when you first got me though? C'mon give that to me. I know you had to drag me to the doctor and spends lots of money, but the secret is that it is a psychological thing. He he he, I kept that a secret huh? I can't promise not stop, it is so not in my Ginger personality. It goes with my desire to hunt down every squirrel who dares cross my path, seek out long forgotten and buried chicken bones, and to snore like a freight train. That is who I am, all Ginger all the time. Love me, love my pee.

Lets also clarify. I do like Daddy better. It's the dogs honest truth. Sorry, again that is the way it is. If we want to get all psycho-babble on me, at my last house the man was the only nice one. He didn't ignore me like the other three did. So now I have an affinity for men. What can I say? I am just that kind of girl. You know girls like that. Plus, I know you like him too. I must have good taste. Right? Was that a good sob story? My cute doe eyes help, don't they? I know how to work you.

Next, do not touch my paws. When you take your damn towel to them and I yelp and pull away, isn't it clear? I don't like it. Period. I will get to them myself. I will clean those suckers in my mouth, while sitting on the couch. What's the deal?

Another thing, my name is Ginger. One word, six letters. It is not the Ging, Ge-ga, Gu-gu, Ginger Beans, Dirty Paws, Pumpkin, Poo-poo cakes, or Lady Bug. My name is Ginger and I am putting my paw down about that.

So, in conclusion, please keep the cookies coming. I always say, the roar the rerrier. Which translates roughly to 10 cookies per day. If not more. Keep 'em coming.

Oh I almost forgot. I was pawing through your Neiman Marcus Book last night and saw some cashmere dog sweaters. I am a medium. Christmas is in 37 days. I'm just saying.....

Hope this clears up my Ginger ways. I am a stubborn beagle, maybe I am an Aries too. I know you get that. At least we all know now.

Rove, Ringer.


Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again
November 16, 2006

I am having a Paul Simon kinda day. Never been lonely, never been lied to. It's the rain. The words cling to me and wrap me in their warmth and familiarity. Waking up to it does that to me. It is a whole different animal, having it come during the day. That middle of the night boom, puddles and grey in the a.m. Cozy tidy fixings. I had a crap of a day yesterday, too long and too much. Words like gingivitis were used. I had no lunch. It is okay that the rain interrupted my sleep, it just left me groggy and waining. Hearts and Bones. The sleep never really left me and I have been wandering through the day in a tired hangover. Still feeling like I am there piled underneath the comforter. The music filters through my computer speakers and allows me to revel in that feeling. It reminds me of home, my parents and Miami. One and one half wandering Jews.... Not just the warmth of the purple sweater, my blue wrap draping my shoulders and the fog of the day, but the memories of childhood. These were my parents tunes fed to me in doses. Their sounds become my past and draw me into the comfort of the day. It is the best I can do from a leather bound office chair. Indigo Girls do it too. These were my tunes, though. Chosen myself, using the tools they lent me. It gives the same resonance and jerks me back to days in a pale blue bedroom. A funeral and black dresses, shoes and tears. It was these songs that she said "were perfect music for our mood". Today is not somber; it is cozy. Music makes those memories, gives us the snug, lets us remember, lets us enjoy, lets us feel...old friends scattered like book ends....

*Yes I know the title is The Fortunes.

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Flower Power
November 15, 2006

As a teenage high schooler, my friend Amy Weiss had a picture of fresh flowers on her top her desk. Brilliant, a framed pic of flowers she received once. I always loved that idea. It was years before I actually got flowers; I was a slight high school dating took awhile before I got boy flowers. My parents weren't the dance recital or graduation flower types either. So, I adore fresh flowers, especially sent to my door or delivered down the hall to my office. They send such a lovely message. I am thinking of you, I am thinking to send beauty, and I am thinking you will love these. The smell, the color and the fresh nature of them brought to your home. I am not really that picky - flowers and I am golden. I just want to eat them up, smell them, smile at them and stare at them. So why not take a picture, put it in a frame and have them with you forever. Sure, the smell is gone, but the image will bring that back for you. Bring the whole package back for you; the person who sent them, the magic of the moment and the aroma of the feeling at the time. So smart. A powerful pic.

These flowers were sent from a special person at a special time. Hey, flowers are always special. I'll take 'em any day, any time, any form. Roses, carnations, sunflowers, tulips, lilacs. You name it, I'll gladly accept it and vase it. So not picky on this one. They all equally bring joy. Tons of joy. Just because of that doesn't mean that they aren't meaningful. The picture helps capture that. I can continue to remember that person, that day and the blooms. I still smile looking at them, I am smiling now. See why I like them so much, they have that kinda power over me.

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Pretty Busy
November 14, 2006

My fathers signature is an R, followed by an extended line, ostensibly to signify the remainder of his first and last name. It is not legible and is meant to represent the remaining 16 letters in his name. I use to wonder and poke fun at it. It always struck me as weird, "No one can read that, it is a giant R, just write your name". I took so much pride in mine, it was a perfectly scripted, completely understood reflection of my entire name, even including the middle initial. It was never girly, no circle or heart "i"'s, but it was clear and neat. I was so the girl who practiced it, using my name or boys I liked at the time. I spent plenty a school hour writing and rewriting my signature. There were several variations of it. Then life happened. You buy a house and sign 67 mortgage documents. You begin writing checks, seemingly to everyone and everything. You work at a law firm where every piece of paper has to have a name, often yours even when you didn't draft the document yourself. The chicken scratch creeps in slowly. Your first name is replaced with an initial and a dot. Surely the last seven letters begin to form into a humpty-dumpty mush when all that is visible is an M and scrawl. It is not pretty at all. It is a reflection of life. Too busy to take the time to put in the effort for pretty. Too busy for a lot of things.

The thing is, the busier I become the more I want the pretty. I want to hide the busy. I want my hair to be perfectly dyed, my makeup to remain in place and cover up evidence of busy, those dark circles lining my eyes. I want my house to reflect the perfect decoration set out in Martha Stewart. I can't settle for plain jane; my snacks are even dressed up, toasted pita with goat cheese. I seem to think this covers the evidence of busy and over tired. It makes me happy to be surrounded by the neat, clean and fresh. Yet it takes a lot of effort; which is the irony. Is it worth all that effort? I let my handwriting slide, can I let the rest slide? I doubt it. I think those are the things that make me happy. They bring a small ounce of joy. Getting my hair dyed is a wonderful two hours of pampering. The pretty in my house make being in my house special and warm. If I wanted ugly, I would stay at work. Te he he. I appreciate the loveliness of it all that much more. I work that much harder to achieve it. Time and money poured into the pretty coffers. Goodness, it is difficult to maintain and perhaps the cost benefit analysis isn't there, but it does bring a smile to my face. The handwriting gets sloppy because there it is not worth it. The beautiful circles and perfectly detailed letters do not bring pleasure and are really utilitarian. Function over form on that one. So, I get it now, why an R can stand in for your name. My father is wise one. Scribbling the R frees up other time. Instead it means time devoted to pretty-ing up the rest of your life. Your home, your self and your family. Those things make you smile; they deserve to be pretty.

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Quiet Calm
November 13, 2006

There are somethings that should remain behind closed doors. We all do things we hide; nothing hush-hush, but just our shtick. After my showers, I pluck my eyebrows and closely exam my acne. Ahhh yes to be 27 with a good 'ole case of teenage acne. It provides me with a good ten minutes of picking and countless hours at the dermatologist. But it also gives me some time, with a foggy mirror, clean face, open pores, standing in my towel. On Sex and the City, Carrie referred to these things as "secret single behavior". I have to believe we all have them. There are just somethings I like to do privately, with no one watching, looking or judging. It is those few minutes a day when you get to be yourself and enjoy it with no apologies or worries. I have to use the bathroom in peace, no conversations, the door needs to remain closed. It's my time to enjoy the release. Sorry, calling it like I see it. I have to adjust to the fact that someone else can hear me, but to see and talk to me is a whole other event. Even at work, I can't stand when someone next to me is chatting about scheduling a deposition. C'mon. I am by no means shy, that is not what this is about. I will fart and walk around with cellulite hanging out (at home, not work, ahem.). But even then I don't mind being open. There are just these things that I like to do in private. Maybe it is also about alone time. Quiet contemplation. Getting in touch with myself, literally in the case of plucking and picking. Or it is just those times when I need to be......well me. These are behaviors we adopt as younger versions of ourselves, that we cannot and should not compromise on. They make us a whole person and allow us to enjoy ourselves. None are embarrassing, just things we like to keep hidden, tucked behind the pocket doors. We can enjoy them better and rejuvenate, to again face the world. For me with perfectly plucked brows and fewer zits.

I also need to write alone. It makes no sense, since others read these words. Nor is it about the quiet, since I never sit in silence, there is TV or radio or even sometimes both. Yeah, I am so energy efficient like that. Even now, he can be near, but I need to be in the corner, typing. Lap top lapped watching DVR's of America's Next Top Model. This is my time, to reflect and think. To be me. My thoughts can flow freely, I can breathe and review my words on my time. A form of a closed door, since it is just me and the keyboard. At least until I hit publish.

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Saturday Nights Alright For Fightin'
November 11, 2006

I attended a lovely birthday dinner, Ashley and her friends. Bottles of wine, duck confit with raspberry coulis, conversations of pregnancy, boyfriends and Laguna Beach. Some of my favorite topics. There were plans to continue the evening; a bar, a table, a bottle and several more hours. I had to pick him up. The problem was the hours passed with nothing else, no other movement forward. At a bar where pretentiousness sticks to the wall. The best laid plans go to waste. It gets late, well late for me, and I need to leave. 12:30 is late. When the night has not begun, it is late. When the bars close at 2, it is late. In my frustration, it is really late. I have a lot of work to do and could not be drunk and tired. I could be one, but not both. I have not spent the night with the birthday girl and I have become that girl who (accidentally) spent the night with her boyfriend. I hate that girl. Especially when I was not actually with him, I was just waiting and he was anxious too. Fun was not had. Once I am there emotionally, I can't go back. I am dug in pretty deep. I get annoyed and impatient. I am getting tired and the dinner time Pinot Grigio has worn off. There is no going back. My mood is stuck to me like the cigarette odor in my hair. Time passes and I move on; down Swann, towards home. Asking what is wrong. Telling me I am no fun. Not letting me pout. Saying this is my fault. All makes it worse. I may have been saved, I was on the border of anti. Those questions, the probing and the tone, oh I am done. So done. I do what I know I need to do, I need to take myself to bed. I am no stranger to evenings out, to drinks, and parties, even to plans that fall through. We have been doing this for over ten years. So, I know when I need to bed myself. My mood is my barometer for my actions. I know I am as easy to read as TV Guide. We all know where I am, let it be. Fine, I am a bitch and being irrational. My words, not yours. But I am there and it is growing later. There is not a chance that the mood is going to be unraveled. The opposite is true. The later it gets the tighter it becomes. I am wound up. Continue to drink, to talk, to wait. I will stew, I will sit and I will people-watch. There are some serious people to watch; who are these people? Where do they work? Live? Watching them is actually fun. The clothes, the personalities and the drunk behavior. But I am homeward bound, after all I can drive myself at this point. I am not apologizing, whats done is done. This night was done for me. Happy Birthday Ashley.

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Some Things Never Change

An excerpt from an e-mail sent to Carter in November 2003:

....essentially that is my life. For the next three weeks I will be consumed with exams. I wish there was more to report. When the only excitement in my life is that there are Christmas cups at Starbucks and that the carol I like to study at is open- email and communication becomes very boring. This happens at this time of the year. All that my mind can process are law school facts which the majority of people do not want to hear about (including myself). You know its bad when you hear Yellow Submarine on the radio while driving to school and your mind wanders and you begin to think about what kind of workers' compensation a guy would get if he died on the submarine.....

This past weeks' reaction to a trip to the 'bucks proved that, three years later, I am still excited by those damn red cups (they even have new cute red patterned coffee jackets. Double joy). Though these days it does not mean that I have to buckle down and study. Instead, it means the Christmas shopping is on. Oh yes, bring it.

Yeah and those workers are apparently still haunting me. Or was it prophetic? Was I destined for a life in work comp? Fortunately haven't had ones on a submarine or even a yellow submarine....but you never know.

I no longer get e-mails from Carter. No more "Hi Dears" or "Love Carter". No more phone calls at random times to explain why the "proof is in the pudding". He is now studying to become an Orthodox Rabbi, living in his arranged marriage, in Israel. It has been over a year since I have heard a peep. I guess some things do change....


Debating Days
November 10, 2006

In between the political debates this week, I found this article on a whole different kind of debate. Hip-hop debate? An alumni of the classical style, I am curious about this new twist on the old school. My high school days were spent immersed in that lifestyle. Joke what you may, we were master-debaters. I have not thought about, read about or participated in any such activities in years. My freshman year of college I judged a tournament at Newman high school in New Orleans. That was my last bit of debating contact, I don't even keep in touch with my partner. But my lord this was it all I did through my senior year. Policy debate.

Weekends were spent in high school hallways and classrooms across the country; Dallas, New York, Chicago and all over the State of Florida. I knew high schools like people study football teams. Grapevine in Texas, Bucholz in Gainsville, The Glenbrooks in Illinois and East Lansing in Michigan. These were the schools, debate institutions. Coached by debate legends. I wonder if they still are, ten years later. We were all over the place, in planes and busses, plugged into headphones listening to Tori Amos and the Indigo Girls. And we knew people from all over the place, the relationships that began at "camps", at universities like Dartmouth and Michigan, the summer before the school year opened. Time devoted to researching that year's topic, outlining arguments and practicing your oral advocacy skills. Weeks and weeks in college dormitories, with college debaters, teaching and coaching you. Studying our foreign policy with China, the US immigration policy, and how to change our health care system. We propounded such policies as exporting cigarettes to the People's Republic of China and allowing Marielitos out of jail. All relevant, topical issues in 1996, some still are today.

In the interim, we spent weekdays scouring newspapers for articles relevant to that topic and our arguments. We researched the President's approval rating that exact week to insure we could "pass" our legislation through Congress. Otherwise our argument would not be believed. We made sure our proposal had not already been turned down by Congress. Again, it would hurt our credibility. We needed to find all of those articles to "run" against our opponents, to dash their believability and credibility. Each side had a turn to present, tear down, and defend their policies. The one with the best evidence, clearest, most topical, and practical argument was determined the winner, with points given for speaking. You needed to be concise, well thought out, and up to date. Hours spent inside the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor. This was before the internet had such accessibility. We did "steal" time on Lexis and used it sparingly, knowing it cost $100 per hour. But all of our sources were cut from the newspaper and clued to a white piece of computer paper. Later to be filed in the correct redwell and ripped out at a moment's notice in the heat of battle.

All of this was stored in redwells, organized by argument. Affirmative and Defense. Each got a separate one, maybe even two or three. All piled in giant RubberMaid boxes, toted around on several dollies. That is how we rolled all across the country, tucked beneath layers of duct tape. Our case was neatly laid out ahead of time, well researched, well thought out and well practiced. As the person in the team who presented the argument, the 1A, I had that puppy memorized. I could do it in my sleep. I had to sometimes. Late nights, lots of travel and tons of prep work meant we were working on overdrive. It was then I learned the value of Excedrin and Mountain Due. Tons 'o caffeine. The caffeine high helped spew out the arguments at warp speed. The more you could get in during the allotted eight minutes, the better your argument, the more compelling. Therefore, the faster you spoke the better. We talked fast, clear and strong, but fast.

Tournaments were often held from Thursday afternoon through Sunday. Six preliminary rounds and than out rounds out to the octafinals, if not further. Judges made up of ex-debaters and still in college competitors. It was prestigious to get to the finals, in the same way it was to win the best speaker award at the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon. My heart still beats fast thinking of having my name called. Never did it happen on the larger national scale. We saw our fair share of out rounds and were considered winners in the State of Florida. But we never pushed ourselves to the level required to be National Champions. Those people paid for college through debate. I knew my time for that expired with my high school diploma. College was for other things. It was time for new experiences.

I missed tons of school. I missed tons of sleep. I was unable to participate in any other extra-curricular activities. I probably missed out on meeting more people, though I do not remember being bereft of friends in high school. Plus I had debate friends, all across the country. I learned how to speak in public. I have not a single fear of such. I like to think I can do it clearly and concisely too. I essentially walked on to the Moot Court team in law school with no prep. I can think fast on my feet; no "um's" or "huh's". I learned the legislative process and all about checks and balances and political powers. Stuff that benefited me greatly in college. I definitely knew more about it at that time then I do now. It would take a good bit of refreshing to catch back up. I so knew what was happening with current events. How could you not? Reading three or four newspapers a day. I understood the effectiveness of evidence to prove your point, how to cite to it for added benefit. I learned how to logically put together an argument and deflect a defense. I really learned the necessity of procedure too, going balls out on T (inside joke for policy debaters out there). But it is a reality of a lawyer life, something you learn as a 1L in civ pro.

So I wonder what the break dancing hip hop crowd has to contribute to this whole little weird world that I donated tons of time and money to. I wonder if they will get any of these lessons or benefits from them. Or if they will have their own unique and special experiences.


Summer Dreams
November 09, 2006

One grueling Friday, I skipped out early and we headed to Long Boat Key. Amid the concrete, I was picked up in an air conditioned car and driven 60 miles south to the Gulf. The white sandy beaches, a chaise lounge and extreme heat of the June Florida sun. Perfection. We checked in and in under eight minutes I was out of my heels, stockings and skirt instead trimmed in a bikini and flip-flops. First stop, the bar for the local rum runner, towel check and the beach. We plopped ourselves into the wooden chairs centimeters from the ground that touched the sand, dug out a stack of magazines, our i-pods and closed our eyes. I let out a long deep breath and a smile. This is what is all about.....fortunately it costs a tank of gas and $150 for the hotel. Off season. I was not answering cell phone calls and barely speaking. I felt Magoo's hand next to mine, but too much contact was stifling, it was sticky and humid, sweat poured out my pores. The good way that sweat can let the negative work the toxins out. The thought of another touching me was too much and almost felt like the toxic waste would get clogged and I wouldn't purge properly. Within an hour, the sun began to tip. An orange ball surrounded by pinks and blues offset by the white beach and aqua water. Post card perfect. I wanted to capture that moment. Frame it for myself to take with me when the world was too much. It was not just the beauty, but the feelings. A slight buzz from the rum and dehydration from the heat. Exhaustion from a long day, week and month. Relaxation from the over 60 minutes with my foot in the sand and my body sun baking. Knowing Magoo was next to me and I was on vacay. Geographically miles from home. I wanted to capture all of it, put it in a Tupperware container and take it with me where I ever I go. I wanted that moment never to fade, as the sun moved into the west, dipping into the Gulf. We walked for awhile along the edge of the water letting it brush against our feet. Clumps of sand gathering between our toes. Stopping for long embraces, small dances and to collect uniquely shaped shells. I had to pause often to capture the moment. Just turn and stare into the fading sunshine and take in the miles of uninterrupted water. I wanted to lick it, smell it and smile in it. Soon darkness came and I needed to be dragged inside. The nighttime beach possesses a whole other mysterious power. I hoped I could recall that moment, those sensations and the afternoon with vivid detail. I want to be able to reperform the magic, without the benefit of the plasticware to hold it in. I hope this does it. If not it is only an hour's drive away. Not too far to make new memories.


Anti-Semitism. It is Funny, No?
November 08, 2006

I am wrestling with definitions of humor. Specifically Borat and his use of anti-semitism. We saw the movie this past weekend, along with a about three million other Americans. I am struggling here. According to the AP Wire, the movie opened in only 800 theaters and did best in the "liberal" markets. So the movie was not seen by all and was targeted to certain audiences. Which adds to my confusion. My initial feelings were echoed by the New York Times. That his use of irony is lost on the masses and his goal to point out the humor in anti-semitism has the opposite effect, it helps promote it. He is blatantly anti-semitic; in the opening seasons they physically abuse Jews. There is a ridiculous scene with cockroaches (I don't want to spoil the movie) and references to the September 11th conspiracy theory that Jews were involved in the terrorist plot. Finally, a trip to a gun store to purchase the best weapon to kill Jews. Not kidding.

Well, he is a satirist and a Jew. Plus the whole movie is done in a character, while making fun of all minorities and himself. And it is a comedy. But does that make it acceptable? Especially when he is in a character who is not Jewish? When most people don't know that he (Sacha Cohen) is Jewish? With those factors, you have to wonder what the audience is laughing at when he enters the gun store. Is it that the joke is funny because it is so absurd and here is a Jewish guy asking for a weapon to kill Jews? Or is it funny because the gun salesman doesn't blink and that is a sad comment on anti-semitism in small town America? Or is it funny because people feel the same way and finally there is someone on the TV echoing their views? The September 11th crap, is a real conspiracy theory, floated on the internet and of the ilk that the Holocaust is fabricated. Therefore, people believe it, at least some do. Once they see someone on the big screen propounding their views, there is legitimacy given. These crazy notions are given credence and those fools have one more thing to point to as being the "truth". What I wonder, is that why people laugh?

Upon further searches, I found an orthodox rabbi who had no issue with the movie. He pointed out that Borat, as a character, is just ridiculous. His clothes, his accent and what he says. Anything that comes out of his mouth is ridiculous, we all know this and that is why it is funny. Therefore, the anti-semitism is also funny and ridiculous, like Borat's mesh underwear.

I wish I could buy into that. But it presumes the audience is already alert and educated. They can make that jump from Borat being so silly that he is a caricature, to all of his opinions falling into that category. If the viewer can make that logical presumption, then they already know that this is supposed to be a satire on what people crazily believe. That person already knows that Sacha Cohen is making fun of himself and that he is pointing out how absurd the anti-semitic comments are on their own. Those people can pick up on the irony. They are not susceptible to believing in anti-semitism in the first place.

Instead, I think the movie validates these beliefs. The guy is ridiculous. No doubt. His awful brown suit, his almost mullet and porn-star mustache. He will do anything, including masturbating in front of the Victoria Secret in Manhattan, and say anything including misogynist comments to a feminist group. That is where the humor lies. We laugh when he does these things. He will take it where we don't, because society won't let us. You cannot show your guests pictures of your son's penis. In the same way you cannot make anti-semitic statements. Yet he does all of it. He is allowed to, because he knows no limit and that is what makes him funny. So is he allowed to make anti-semitic comments as well because he is exempt from societal filters? He gets to put it all out there, even those that are hateful. Is it all supposed to be the same humor? My issue is that people are finally given validation of their warped views, in the same way they would love to urinate outside. Because it is easy and comfortable?

To me what is different from the fun he pokes at other minorities is that he seems to take extra strides here. The Pentecostals who speak in tongue, are simply shown practicing their religion. No scenes were concocted. It was them in their element. It was funny if you already thought Pentecostals were a little bit odd, their tongues flying and the hallelujahs. All he did was show us what happens when they worship. There was no need or effort to make fun. But with the Jews there was effort. He created scenes, lines and people to make fun and toted out anti-semitic comments. Why was that necessary? To show how ridiculous it is to be anti-semitic? Again, I think that is too sophisticated, especially for someone who already harbors some inkling of anti-semitism. It is disparate to the treatment given to other minority groups and seems to add to the confusion over the anti-semitic role that Cohen plays in Borat. Is that funny? Like I said I am torn.


Parting Thoughts
November 07, 2006

It is one of those days, the kind where you eat all three meals sitting at your desk. That's gotta be healthy, right? Lets just say that I am still sitting at my desk....

My electronic voting machine did not work properly. The right side of the panel was impossible to access. My mom's voting machine did not work properly either. She touched her choice and it registered the opposite selection. Nice. We love voting in Hillsborough County. We have had these machines for years now.... I don't expect results for several more hours, not just here, but nationwide. Let's not even get into Ohio.

Ginger decided to use my carpet as a dumping ground. I have always said that she really hates when Tom goes out of town, I guess the evidence is clear. Well not so much clear, as stinky.


Election Day

Today is Election Day. Warning, I am going to dork out here – it is truly one of my favorite days. I also enjoy the coverage at night, probably because I am competitive. The media gives into that urge and lets us spend the night rooting for our guy. Save for the garbage of the media campaign leading up to it, I just enjoy the hell out of the entire day. I wake up excited, like Christmas. It is our only real experience to participate in democracy. It is open, easy and accessible. I am a huge fan of the GOTV efforts, I love that idea. Of course not voting is also an expression and an exercise of ones rights, so long as it is a calculated decision and not just laziness. Yes, yes I get that our vote and the decision calculus used to cast that vote are a waste of time. Your vote does not really count, unless there is a tie. But it is the process of voting that is monumental, the participation in the system. It is also a statement against the other party or other candidate, that you don’t support them. That is the important stand to take, as we are allowed such a privilege. While we get to cast votes for leaders, who may or may not win and who may or may not actually make a genuine difference in the outcome of our political, economic and social landscape, the act of voting is where I get my high. I love the process. That we can contribute to a functioning system. Gripe what you may about the efficacy of politicians, term limits, career scoundrels, Republican, Democrat and all other transformations, the process itself works. That is where I am in awe and where the goose bumps come from. Created by the Founding Fathers over two hundred years ago without any of the luxury we have today. In that they thought, processed and philosophized a system and brought it to life without the amenities we have available. More so, without taking into account what we would look like as a country and world today. Yet that teeter-totter of a new government withstood their best efforts and exists as they envisioned it still. With all the conveniences of modern life, their checks and balances are alive and kicking. That is what gets me. Aaaa-mazing. Of course the politicians of today can be said not to take such bold strides or create such lasting efforts, but in a way as leaders they are filling the role initially laid out by the forefathers. They carry on the traditions. As do we when we vote. It is the union between all Americans, ties that bind us together that also tug at my heart. I am not overly patriotic; no flags in the front yard or anything like that. But the consensus and unity amongst all Americans participating in furthering our democratic processes is heart warming. It means there is a fundamental level of good. When push comes to shove we can do it properly. When the time comes and the shit really hits the fan here, those foundations, those fundamentals, that unity and our history will be able to carry us through.

**No comments on 2000, given the validity of the system and our roots, I lend myself to believe that the process of checks and balances worked and that the outcome was right. A belief in the system has to lead to that conclusion.

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Risky Business
November 06, 2006

I’ve Jdated. In fact I started the night I found my boyfriend on the site. I knew where that was going, rather quickly. It really looked like I was going to need to start dating, since it seemed he already was. I had no problem signing myself up. I am not risk adverse when it comes to these kinds of goals. How on earth are you going to meet someone in your velour pants watching Sex and the City on your couch? At least online dating lets you do all those things at the same time. You gotta put yourself out there to get a result. It is impossible any other way. No whining without at least the effort. At least that is how I looked at it. I had a ridiculously positive attitude. Especially for someone you had been cheated and lied to. Plus, now that I was a member I could catch my future boyfriends setting up their profiles faster. Ha!

My first contact came from a neurologist who had done his residency in New Orleans. My background caught his attention. He reported as a 35 year old with a new house, office based practice and an interest in cycling. I agreed to a Wednesday night steak dinner after several e-mails were exchanged. The calamari was excellent, drenched in a sweet and sour sauce. It wasn’t his appearance or demeanor, but the lie. My job offers me the ease to do some quick fact checking. In reality it is open to all thru the world wide web. A look at the licensing web site revealed this doctor was at least 42, if not older. Give me a break. You know people are going to breeze past a 40 plus guy, so you changed your age. But what you forget was that women hate liars. HATE. There is nothing at all worse. To us it says there are 97 other things you may be lying about. It says that you are willing to compromise your morals. Or worse, you don't have any. It says that you will do this again in the future and that time it may be about that affair with your secretary. It begs questions. What was your plan if this was to become serious anyway? Reconstruct your identity to become a 35 year old? Erase seven years of your life? He called, e-mailed and messaged numerous times after our dinner. I responded to one in a sentence, “Don’t appreciate being lied to”. His response was also brief “I understand”. Do you though? Why risk lying, if you knew it could harm you in the end? It was clear, he had no desire to be dating for real, that much was obvious. He was not in it for the long haul since he was willing to lie, over taking a true risk and showing his age. You risk people rejecting you for being over 40, but those are not peoople you want anyway. If you put yourself out there you better put your whole honest self out there. Otherwise there is no true risk. Yes the cold hard facts are risky, but it is honest and it will get you the farthest. He needed to take that risk, the reward would have been sweeter.

I took that risk. Put myself on the damn website. Chatted it up with the good doctor. Sat through dinner and drinks. All for nothing, in the end. But isn’t that risk? You are never guaranteed a reward. But fuckin’ A you will never, I repeat never, get a reward by doing nothing. There is no way you can find that man and make your dreams come true without the risk. It is just that simple. Economists and investors know the maxim well. The higher the risk, the greater the reward. We can play it safe and keep ourselves in a savings account, earning little income. Little risk, little reward. Where does that leave you? Time to go balls out and dump your shares into stocks. Get the best return for your money and you could end up wealthy and wise. Junk bonds are for fools who play loose and fast. Quick returns may not give you lasting results. There is a symmetry. We all know those people who are too risky with their behaviors they too get nowhere. After all there is a certain calculus to the risk-reward equation. I remained on that web site for several more months with a handful more quasi-terrible dates. None were horrific, no one else lied, to the best of my knowledge. The liars, cheaters and one armed bandits are all out there and take weeding out. But that is the risk you take in dating in general, I don’t think the online world is at all unique. It is just a convenient mechanism.

There is risk in taking the time to create a profile, in responding to e-mails, in getting to know a perfect stranger and agreeing to a meeting. All is risky. But is it really? We do that all day long. There is such a huge potential for a reward it is awe inspiring. Finally meeting that one person, makes it all worth it, you stop even looking at it that way. So I re-evaluated. Rather than look to the risk, I looked at the potential for reward. Rather than look to what I may lose, I looked to all I had to gain. Then I realized, in reality there was nothing to lose at all. What, so you spent some time getting to know another person? Time spent having to explain yourself, your past, dreams and goals? Well that is time well spent also, it helps you understand yourself and your needs. There is no pride here, these people don’t know you. It is impossible to be embarrassed in front of strangers. You will never see them again and they aren’t worth your respect and time if they think otherwise. In reality there is nothing to lose. All this risk talk should be for nothing. It should all be reward focused.

Several months later I took another risk. I met a boy at a bar through a friend. I knew a handful of morsels about him and I liked him. I googled and e-mailed him. I risked pride, but rationalized that I had nothing to lose. Save for some time drafting an e-mail. What 10 minutes? If there was no response, he was not worth it anyway. He responded, we lunched and now he is my Magoo. Risks can be so rewarding. Just take them.

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Peace, Love, and Happiness
November 05, 2006

I love this man. Maybe it is the new red dye in my hair, but I am feeling like a wild child. I just love those words; wild child. Emotions all over the place. Wild says to me crazy, but in a good, fun loving, embracing life kind of crazy. Not cat lady, jump off a building, muttering to myself crazy. A good cry the kind with heaving chest and shortness of breath, pounding my fists on him, and harsh words all helped. I meant what I said and will not accept anything less. They were not fighting words, they were the truth. I need those things from you. They way I asked, please don't disregard as crazy, that kind of bad crazy. I mean it. I know it hurts you, but keeping it in me is frustrating. Airing it out has to be good for us. I don't doubt our future, I know that we can work. We will be good, we can listen and communicate. We yell, sob, pause and then process. The silence kills me, but it is the words registering. Then we make up; a tentative hand, hugs and kisses and a long embrace. It is how people interact and how people grow. Liars, are those who say they don't argue. I call bull shit. No one is perfect. So how can a relationship be perfect? It is impossible. Down right impossible. How else is progress made? How do you get here without the bold emotion? Now I am at peace. I am exhausted from the emotional outpouring. My eyes sting, my head pounds, I am tired. But it has left me with a happy warm feeling as well. I want to move into bed, with a comforter, clean sheets and him. Hand to hand, head to head, leg to leg. That kind of warmth, that kind of peace.


More Tales from the Psuedo Family
November 04, 2006

I tend to think the only reality is that there is a ton of bull shit. Sort of like that death and taxes thing. Well here in law firm land, bull shit is a guarantee. I have seen them manipulate and control others before. There is a pathology. People are forced out for make believe reasons. Issues are tossed about with transparent contradictions. One day it is this and the next day it is not. We question whether there are souls or hearts present. See I did it here. Harsh, no doubt, but that is what we are privy to. Perceptions get you pretty far. We are litigators trained to read people. What I see is what I have to believe. Those impressions are lasting, for damn sure. These actions are not helping that perception one bit.

I get to go off my gut also. On this one I pull the woman card, we have intution. Trust me we really do. If I don't think they are genuine true words, I am not going to be persuaded. Plus you may not believe mine. So we are even. I have to watch my back, just like you look out for your own. My instincts tell me to do that, among other things. Protect and defend. If I don't, I am pretty sure no one else will. Hey, and if I am wrong, what did I really lose? I have secured borders and a tight fortress. All it leaves me with is protection. Apparently what else it leaves me with, is strength and leverage. Who knew? Bonus for me. See, look at that, I didn't really lose anything at all. It got me mystery and intrigue. I kept my walls so well secured, it was difficult to read me. So that when it came time to defend and explain (why my billables were up to par) i was able to pull from a litany of stories. No one could question the truth. It helped me gain the upper hand. I don't get a tirade, ranting and threats and my cards are not on the table. Notta one of them. I keep a close watch on that heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time....Looking pretty good from over here. That Cash man was right and it is not always love that we have to protect.

I have every right to do that. My gut tells me not to handle it any other way. I should not be criticized for keeping things private. "Really, you want to be my psycotherapist? Why as my boss would you want that role?" I swear they asked to be and even lectured on my need for them to assume that role. Could things be more bizzare? "As a sign of respect and decorum we would avoid that." On my end I think, about that trust issue, why play into it? Open up to them and give them personal information. Not only would I not get these benefits, but I know it will be used against me in a later date. Who needs that? It is called personal for a reason.

How freaking paranoid does all that garbage sound? Well it is the reality of this life and most lawyers lives. I am certain. You've seen The Firm. Sure it is not thaaaaat bad....but where did all that material come from? John Grisham was a practicing lawyer. There is reality in it all. There is no trustworthiness. None. Where that characteristic is inherent in a family structure, it is noticeably absent here. Despite their best efforts to mock a familial existence. Newest resemblence, wanting to be my sister and a support structure. In a family you have to work really hard to wreck the trust. Really hard. Here you have to work really hard and you will probably never get the trust. How ass backward, huh? It makes for a unique environment. Fun and jovial. Young and interesting. There are people there to lean on. Really there are and I do trust them. We call those people friends a/k/a associates. But there is a secret ugly underbelly. And that is where the uniqueness lays. That is why this office and this job are fundamentally different and bizarre. That is why we get crazy ass stories and piles of bull shit.


Friday Fiver
November 03, 2006

I am crapping out....not enough hours of sleep combined with not enough billable hours of work this week - which means I need to kick it into gear in the next few hours. So I am taking the easy way out with these five q's.

1) Name one of your bad habits: I chew my cuticles. I have since I was six or seven. I was promised a charm ring at age 11 if I stopped. I stopped just long enough to get that ring. This summer I tried fake nails to prevent the cuticles from splitting and giving me easy access to the picking. It worked. Until I removed them.

2) What do you expect from friends? This is why I picked this meme. It is not the easiest one like "what is your favorite candy". I expect a lot from them. Definitely in the past I have expected them to be my best friends, filled the roles of boyfriends and family. Everything. And they had been, I have been blessed to find people who have been my everything. No problem with a 3 am phone call, e-mail's during work over bad days, spending vacations together, coffee breaks, drunk nights, tears over boys, bad TV time, dinners, manicures, study time. You name it, I want it all from my friends.

3) What is the last thing you wrote down? Aside from this, a to-do list/timeline of how I am going to spend the weekend. So many errands I want to run, hair appointment, dinner plans this evening, exercise, spring (well make that fall) cleaning. Of course a few hours of football on TV.

4) What is the last favor you did for someone else? I made a new friend last night at a book talk I went to. Turns out she lives on my block. Turns out someone set her alarm off last night when we were at the book talk. So I kept her company while we waited for the police.

5) What is your favorite TV show? Leaning towards Top Chef right now. Lost lost me. I hate torture. Though How I Met Your Mother is consistently underrated, at least that is me.

There you have it. My best over tired, over worked effort for a Friday afternoon. Your turn. Give 'em a try......

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She's Got Legs
November 02, 2006

This morning, I took the deposition of a despondent man. He was injured and faced the possibility of amputation. He rolled to the elevator escorted by his wife, as I traversed the stairs in my heels. Thank god. For my strong legs that carried me down two flights of stairs. That allow me to don four inch black patent Charles David pumps. That let me do 90 minutes of yoga (though at times they did not want to cooperate). That let me take Ginger out for her morning walk. That let me reach over and straddle Magoo before I left for work. That let me stroll and enjoy viewing the Halloween decorations and trick-or-treaters. That let me powerwalk four miles on the treadmill. That let me delicately brush a toe against his when I got into bed. That let me shop, drive and ambulate freely. How thankful, grateful and complacent I am about these gifts. I cringe at the cellulite forming at my upper thighs (good god it seems to increase tenfold daily) and I constantly bemoan having to keep up with the shaving. But these babies carry me where ever I need to go. They are on call 24/7 and do a damn good job. They are strong, powerful, and have to be considered my best asset. How blessed and lucky to be in good health.


What is Right With This?

A ticker-tape bank type sign, outside a McDonalds, in New Port Richey Florida. No worries, if you don't know where that is. I barely know myself.

The sign advertised two things; 1) they have Wi-Fi and 2) it is currently 83 degrees.

Why does the McDonalds need such a sign? Do hamburgers go on sale? Is the big yellow M no longer sufficient to indicate that a McDonalds is there?

Why does a McDonalds need Wi-Fi at all?

Wi-Fi and big bank signs in New Port Richey?

Why is it 83 degrees at 3 pm on November 1?

Ugh, it is so flippin' hot out......


An Open Letter to My Sister
November 01, 2006


We were young, I was seven or eight and you four or five, we exited an elevator at a hotel. I had a terrible irrational feeling that you were left behind in the elevator, either traveling to another floor or caught horribly between the doors. A horrific image at such a young age. A moment of panic ran through my body and I jerked around to see where you were. You were safely behind me and had quietly exited the elevator. Mom and Dad witnessed the event and knew then how much I cared for you. To this day I still do. Despite asking them to return you to the hospital, when you were first born. I wanted that spotlight to remain mine. I had no room for your chubby cheeks, impish smile or buster brown bangs. However, it has been anything but that, as we have grown up. It has been all elevator and no returns. We never argue, fight or bicker. Our relationship is special, unique and cherished by all. We are truly lucky. Sometime around college we discussed the off chance of us residing in the same city. You mentioned us living together in that instance, and I said absolutely not. At the time you grew extremely offended that I would not want you as a roommate and that I immediately dismissed such a thought. Baby girl, it was never out of disdain for you. I never wanted to ruin our wonderful relationship. I never wanted to spoil our wildly romantic and perfect relationship. Us as roommates may have put a crashing halt to the 25 years of perfection that has marked our roles as big sister little sister. I cherish that and wanted nothing to mar it.

You are my baby sister. Forever will you hold that role. Forever will I consider you in that light. But for a longtime, you have been a lot more than that. You are a beautiful girl and a strong woman. That is what I admire most about you; your strength and beauty. Physically you possess both. Your thick brown locks, dark brown M&M eyes and olive colored freckle spackled skin. You are lean, muscular, with a tiny waist, taught belly and broad shoulders. The men love you. They really do, I think it is also that booty. At least that is where the trouble starts. But you are strong. Yoga, running, climbing and kayaking. It is more then that. You have strength within you. Taking risks in geography. Yes, that geography and that geography too. A re-location three times zones away to a town no one knew you. A choice in a career that renders a “huh” and a dazed look. You threw yourself into it, all your strength and beauty, and came out shining. It has always been that way; your brilliance is stunning and your attributes leave you shining. Sun shining down on your glorious life. The great sun you worship and adore. Devoting your life to good times in the great outdoors. Your love for such is reflected in all you do, paid or otherwise. I know that this gloriousness is deserved (you know no limit to hard work and devotion) and I know it will continue to follow you in all your life’s adventures.

I just hope you know all this too. We all are doubters, racked with questions. We all face loneliness and feelings of being alone. We spend weekends where we interact with the TV, the man at Starbucks, ourselves and in your case nature. How we live those days is what is within your reach. Knowing that you can reach for the stars, and that in your life, they are an arm’s length reach away, means you know how to make it through these times. It is about growing up and about learning about you. Seeing all those good things and capitalizing on them. Making them, owning them and not letting them ruin you. Otherwise, the sun, moon, stars, and the glory that you are ensconced with, are dimmed a little bit. The shine is not as bright. That is not the baby sister we know. There is too much strength and beauty there. I can't see that happen.

Which is what we don’t want trampled. Not by yourself and not by others. Don’t let anyone else steal it from you. Don’t let the loneliness take over it and don’t let another individual rub it away. They are your traits, your characteristics and you own them. No one can take them from you, certainly not without your permission. That is where the problem lies; when you let them and give them a permission slip to take it. Too easily we give them away. To boyfriends and men. You let them in, share these magic qualities, and allow them to bask in our sunlight. When they leave they take it all with them. Not only do you allow them to get so wrapped up in your warmth, but you let them walk away it; leaving you cold. I know you are stronger then that. You have the strength of a ten ton truck and the smarts of noble prize winner. It is their powers that appear to leave you defenseless. Letting you walk in there open armed and walk out of there a ragged mess. Take the strength and beauty you possess, keep it in a jar, and let them smell it, taste it and see it. Just leave some for yourself. So when it ends, you have some sealed away with a lid. That is yours to go back to; to remember your own powers and rebuild your stash. That way it is not all consuming in the moment and it is not earth shattering at the end. You are too strong, too beautiful and too smart for it to be any other way.

It takes time to learn these things and it is often done the hard way. But I need you to know I am there for you when it does come crashing down. Even with the distance. When the world rubs you the wrong way. Boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses and parents. Good, bad and all the grey in between. Know I am proud and in awe of you. Your strength and beauty are inspiring and amazing. You are my baby sister, my be-bop, and for that I am lucky. I would never dream of returning you.

Love - A

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